Newsletter – 1988 Spring and Summer

The Proposed Museum

Pictured here are photos of the model building of the Society’s proposed museum building. Joe English, local architect and former Lancaster pilot, has designed this building to be eye-catching as well as shelter for the Bomber and other WW II artifacts. This spectacular design will create tourist interest with its own merits.
The building will have a large exhibition space, a theatre for film showings, a display area for photos and paintings, workshops for restoration of aircraft, and space for merchandise sales.
The mezzanine will provide an alternative view of the aircraft and be the site of meeting rooms, a coffee shop and artifact displays.

This proposed Nanton Air Museum building has the following dimensions.

  • Main floor- 19,000 sq. feet.
  • Mezzanine- 2,800 sq. feet
  • Basement- 2,300 sq. feet

Building height varies from 24 feet to 44 feet in the centre. The building’s perimeter is 550 feet and it will have a 380 foot length of glass walls. It is anticipated the glass area will help with winter heating through solar gain.A tentative site for the museum is on a high point of land west of Nanton’s corporate limits and near Highway # 2. Here it would be visible for a considerable distance. An excellent view of the Porcupine Hills and the Rocky Mountains is an additional feature of this site. Other sites are being considered.

Notes Of Interest

In the past year we have received two grants from the Alta. Museum Assoc. The first was for $2000 designated to rebuild the mid-upper gun turret. The second grant, of $3000 is helping to build display cases for our Lanc artifacts. These will be used in the tourist building museum in the coming season.

The above grants were possible only because of your donations, as these were used to make up required matching funds. So you can see how very important YOUR funding help is to the success of YOUR Society. This is also a good example of how the Society tries to maximize use out of member dues and donated dollars.

Open Bomber Weekend -1988

All members of the Society and their friends are invited to our second annual “Open Bomber Weekend” on May 4 & 15. Following the format of last years successful event, this will again be a complete “bomb-aimer’s compartment to rear turret,” tour. This will also be the first opportunity to view our new , much expanded museum displays.

Nanton members welcome these opportunities to meet with former aircrew and other Society members.

As with last year’s event, we expect some minor reunions which helps make the day(s) memorable.

In addition, many children and grandchildren will be made more familiar with the aircraft, which played a significant role in the lives of fathers, grandparents and others, in the era of WW II.

Operation Annie

7:30 am Saturday, April 9, 1988 saw a group of people gather at the Bomber to help with the largest and most successful field trip yet undertaken by the Society. Plans had been in the works for weeks to move six selected Anson carcasses, from various south-western Alberta locations. A 45 ft. semi trailer from Louie’s Trucking, of Nanton, waited with several other vehicles, while another six vehicles and a 70 ton “picker” truck (courtesy of Mullen Trucking Ltd., Aldersyde) were already steaming south, down #2 highway, with two Anson remains they had just picked up near High River.

This had been a last minute opportunity, a last minute plan change, to save these two from imminent destruction a few days later. They were unloaded at Bob Evan’s acreage and everyone then headed for the Gifford farm, N.E. of Pincher Creek. With the arrival of Mullens “picker” truck, the two Ansons here were loaded on Louie’s truck, along with misc. parts, to be hauled back to Nanton. The group then split up the two crews heading for the Sinnott and McRae farms to ready the individual Ansons for loading. Pilot truck personnel, accompanied Louie’s loaded semi to Nanton, and then headed for the Stange farm, east of Pulteney to make ready those carcasses. The Mullen crew dropped their semi, now loaded with the Sinnott and McRae Ansons at the Pulteney corner, and smoked their way east to Stange’s, where they loaded Ken Wideman’s (L & W Trucking) waiting semi trailer. Everyone now headed for the Evans property. Here the two carcasses with engines (McRae and Sinnott) were unloaded along with the Stange airframe. On this the Society will rebuild a display Anson The “highlight” of the day was the unloading of the Gifford Anson into a compound with the Lancaster Bomber. Traffic on # 2 highway was held up as the huge Mullen “picker” truck jockeyed into position. There were lots of wide-eyed stares from passers-by. This airframe will be used to create a hands on “Anson” playground for “kids” of all ages. The other two Ansons were taken to Milt Magee’s. This ended a fine day of progress.

The Lancaster Society would like to say THANK YOU to ALL who took part in Operation “ANNIE”, and in particular the following, who donated their services and equipment.

MULLEN Trucking – Aldersyde, AB.
LOUIE”S Trucking – Nanton, AB.
L&W Trucking – Nanton, AB.
SMITH Construction – and all personnel of the above.


People and Progress

We’ve come along way since our last newsletter. Many more Lanc parts are now on hand. The T1154/R1155 (working) radios, donated by Lanc. Society friend, Rick Brand, of London, England, are now here. Allan Johnson, of Big Valley AB., donated two Bendix radios, an RA10bd (receiver), a TA-12G (transmitter), plus an MP28BA dynamotor. Mrs. D. Dawson, Vulcan, AB., gave a Marconi, C2 frequency indicator. Kal Kramer, of Three Hills, donated a G.E. BC-375E transmitter. These are only a few of the Society’s friends who have helped the Lanc project.

The Anson program progress is measured by eleven accumulated carcasses. These were obtained from Dale McRae, Ernie Sinnott, and Harold Gifford, all of Pincher Creek, AB., Herbert Stange and the Markle family of Claresholm, AB., and also Phillip Bice of High River. Others have given smaller parts.

Operation “Annie” on April 9th moved 8 Ansons in one day.

“The Shop” loaned to us by the McGowan family, is seeing a lot of use. Two gun turrets and two Jacobs engines are being worked on at present. The shop is open 7pm Thurs. and 1 p.m. Sundays.

The Finance and Building Committees are doing things too. The building model, along with a slide presentation, have been used to promote the proposed Air Museum. This presentation has been made to the Alberta Ministers of tourism and culture and other groups.

Another area of progress that is reported elsewhere in this newsletter is the Summer Program. Yes, the Bomber will be OPEN, not only for special events, but for most of the summer.

The Lancaster Society has no means of support other than membership fees and individual donations. It is not supported by any group or organization. We are a registered charitable organization and we issue tax receipts. Please renew your 1988 membership and help save the Bomber and other BCATP artifacts.